Friday, October 30, 2015

Going home in time literally and figuratively...

A few days I came back from a ten day whirlwind trip back east.  I have had a yen for awhile to catch autumn colours in the Eastern Townships where I grew up.  They don't last long but they are brilliant.  It's hard to know when they will actually be.  Last year they were early and this year later.  Due to not booking early and wanting to use those pesky Aeroplan points I was a bit limited about when I went and how long I stayed.  Leaves were only really beginning to turn when I left Montreal, but eight out of ten days were perfect weather wise and I was able to do much of what I wanted to do.

I have lived in Vancouver for 35 years and have made many trips back east, but generally in the summer and sometimes winter.  I went once at March break and said never again as it was spring here and still winter there.  I was there just once in spring, the beginning of May, and that was nice.  Two trips back in Autumn were due to family medical emergencies and too early or too late to see colourful leaves.  I usually have too many things I want to do and often not enough time and this trip I wanted to go to Ottawa and Quebec City as well, two cities I haven't been in in years, as well as spend a couple of days in the Townships.

The trip was a bit hectic and I had a slight cold through most of it, but it was kind of wonderful.  Seeing friends and family, catching up, getting to hang out in favourite places, fabulous.  I even checked on houses I once lived in, and of which I still have nice memories.  I went to places I hadn't been before as well.  I saw friends with whom I had gone to university and hadn't seen since, but with whom I had picked up the threads of friendship thanks to Facebook.  I spent time with one of my photo group friends as well, and it felt as if I had known her forever.  I was able to spend  to see my best friend from childhood's daughters and see her grandchildren who she sadly never got to see.  I spent time with friends who I have known since we were young and have kept those friendships always.

I saw the film, Five Easy Pieces, in university, and I think that was the beginning of my yen for the West Coast.  Mountains, ocean…and I have lived here now longer than I lived in Quebec, and I doubt I would really enjoy those long winters anymore but…

I always find reentry a little strange-putting my life back into this orbit, but I do love living here.

I had a somewhat frustrating summer after my falling down garage in my backyard was taken down and then the contractor quit.  My backyard was finally  put back together the week I after I returned, and perhaps the landscapers' hard work in the back yard, motivated me to work on cleaning out the attic some.

I opened a suitcase and went through old pictures, a journal from my second year of teaching, an old letter never sent, and bad poetry.  Another life in many ways.  Some of the pictures were very fun and not looked at in ages.  After reading that journal from my second year of teaching, it is a wonder I taught 38 years more.  But somehow nice, that many of those friends then are still friends forty years later.  Old letter, bad poetry I threw out, but I think some of those images and revelations that I had forgotten are stamped again on my mind.  To be young…In some ways exhilarating, but also heartbreaking, frustrating.  In some ways I haven't really changed but I hope I have become a bit more even!
But I am so happy I grew up where and when I did in the Eastern Townships, and I loved being young in Montreal.  And yes, I loved going home...

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